herald

Thursday 29 September 2016

Man thrown out of Dublin pub returns armed with 'shotgun'

The Metzo bar in Ballymun, where a man allegedly produced a shotgun
The Metzo bar in Ballymun, where a man allegedly produced a shotgun

Gardai are investigating an incident in which a man allegedly produced a shotgun after he was thrown out of a north Dublin pub.

It happened shortly after midnight on Sunday when the man, in his 20s, allegedly jumped out of a car outside the Metzo pub on Shangan Road, Ballymun, armed with what witnesses described as a shotgun. Some customers fled in panic.

The man, who lives locally, had been removed from the bar minutes earlier. However, no shots were fired and the man quickly left the scene while gardai were alerted.

It is understood that officers interviewed the man involved, who claimed he did not have a firearm, adding that it was in fact a baton-like weapon.

He was not arrested and no firearm was recovered.

"There are conflicting reports on this one," a source told the Herald.

Gardai have not received an official complaint about a firearm being produced and are keeping an open mind on the matter until it is fully investigated.

The incident is not believed to be linked to a garda operation in nearby Marewood Crescent around four hours later.

A number of armed officers stopped a vehicle in which one of the country's most volatile criminals and some of his closest associates were travelling.

Firearms

No firearms were found during the search, which was coordinated by Ballymun detectives.

They have been investigating the activities of a new criminal gang calling themselves the New INLA and sources said some of the men in the car have links to this gang.

One of them is a 30-year-old Ballymun criminal who is one of the biggest targets for officers investigating organised crime in the capital.

"They are involved in extortion, criminal debt collection and drug-dealing, but they are also involved in legitimate businesses - they're making tens of thousands of euro each month," a source said.

"This gang has huge back-up from the North and they are going around like they own the place. Everyone is terrified of them."

They are also linked to a notorious criminal from north Dublin. He is the chief suspect behind a number of gangland crimes and assaults, and was previously arrested in relation to those issues.

Investigations into the mob were stepped up after a bomb and a Glock pistol were seized and a Polish man was arrested when armed gardai searched a vehicle near Mountrath, Co Laois, on February 25.

That incident led to the M7 motorway being closed for several hours.

Sources said the bust had "led to lives being saved".

The gang's main base is in Ballymun, but they have been operating throughout the country and especially in the capital.

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